Spring 2020 marks an important moment in Harkins’ history. It’s the first time in 20 years that Mont-Tremblant’s log home and Timber Frame specialists are putting away their tools, just as the weather begins to warm. But, COVID-19 has forced our hand. While many businesses across the country have been forced to do the same, we bet that few of them have had to cover their raw materials with snow to protect them from the heat! This decision was made by our president, who keeps a close eye on his assets, in hopes of preserving the hundreds of Quebec white pine logs being stored in our lumberyard (all sourced from within 150 km). This month we’ll take a closer look at the man behind Harkins, or rather, we’ll take a look at Harkins, in collaboration with him!
FROM MECHANIC TO LOG HOME EXPERT!
David, president and co-founder of Harkins, had the ambitious idea of leaving his job as a mechanic to start a business in his home town with his father, in 2000. The two worked together for a log home manufacturer, him on equipment maintenance, and his father on the worksite, But then, the company shut down. David, a natural entrepreneur, saw this as an opportunity. What’s craziest about this, is that he wasn’t in love with wood yet…but he seized the opportunity and discovered the magic of wood!
David was still very young at the time, but determined and hardworking. The Harkins family got invested and since then, not a year has gone by without great achievements and valuable recognition that confirm they made the right choice.
FOR THE LOVE OF LOG HOMES!
When asked about the reasons why their houses have quickly made their place in the log and traditional carpentry (Timber Frame) industry, David hesitates little:
“What makes us successful is our passion and our rigour. We’re a family business that has brought together a team of individuals who are passionate about wood, using local trees to build homes, mainly in log and Timber Frame styles. We start with the raw material, a tree, and work with it to build a home that suits our client’s needs. Our team will be there every step of the way to provide advice and share our love of wood for years to come!“
One of Harkins’ strengths is counting on talented individuals who know their raw material, and who have developed cutting-edge expertise, out of love for wood and their complex works. It’s for this reason that they prioritize the construction of models that they have hand drawn for their clients. This ensures an exactitude and maximum quality assurance, relying on the expertise of the planning and architectural services team.
LIVING IN A LOG HOME…A NATURAL AND ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY CHOICE!
David couldn’t have done it any other way. He chose to build a Harkins log home for his family in order to get to know his product a little better. We asked him how this went:
“Living in a hand-carved log home is completely out of the ordinary. It’s living in a space made of a natural material that serves as the structure, the insulation and the interior and exterior finishes…all without majorly transforming the material itself. It’s pretty incredible when you think about it.
It’s trendy to live naturally these days. When we think about our environmental impact in terms of construction, I don’t think it can get more natural than this!
Our life cycle and our transformation process are very positive from an environmental standpoint. The impact on our environment and the overall carbon footprint of a wood home (log or traditional carpentry) is smaller than that of a standard residential building. Wood requires fewer resources and generates less pollution than the use of steel, styrofoam and other composite materials… I know that our homes are eco-friendly. Our wood comes from within 150km of our work site and each step of the transformation process is carried out on site, with the logs dried naturally, never with a dryer. We ensure limited use of resources and reuse materials whenever possible. For example, we heat our offices with wood chips that would otherwise be thrown away. Our commitment is to being respectful of nature!“
You can read more about our commitment to the environment on Harkins’ blog.
INNOVATION AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT FOR HARKINS HOMES AND COTTAGES
Our business has matured and our management team’s philosophy is clear. They build, with heart; their works, their team and their business for future generations. It is in simplicity, a warm and inviting simplicity, that the Harkins family sees itself. David, surrounded by his spouse, his parents, his sister, his brother-in-law and his employees, does not however, feel that he can let himself get carried away.
When asked what’s next for him, project management and 3D planning, which are essential to the precise realisation of complex deliverables, is where he took the discussion:
“The reality is that building with logs is often complicated. That’s where innovation and technology come into play, to support the profound knowledge of our artisans. Talent, when paired with technology, is what will define future success. Our work will be more and more precise, even though it’s already very precise! We want to be more efficient, more accurate!”